Scientists seemed like unstable crazy people when I was a kid. This belief was most likely because the only ones I saw were villains in animation, movies, and television shows- creating viruses or wild inventions with the goal of, “Taking over the world!” It wasn’t until I watched the movie, Back To The Future, did I think science was something that could be considered cool.
Even though Doc Brown was portrayed as a little kooky, his ideas for time travel and the space-time continuum fascinated me. Plus, he had a most excellent time traveling DeLorean with doors that opened up like wings. And it worked, transporting Marty McFly into three movies full of action and adventure.
I believe this was one of the movies that transformed how entertainment, , like film and TV, could portray scientists and inventors. Yes, they could be the mad villains but also the innovative heroes that use their knowledge to save the world.
The science you see on television can lead to the creation of superheroes, Like The Flash. Barry Allen is struck by lightning when a particle accelerator invention causes an explosion and creates a storm. That strike gives him super
speed. He becomes The Flash to protect the city from others who gain powers
from that storm but use them for evil.
The Flash may be fantasy, but we can understand how scientific experiments can fail or go wrong. Sometimes catastrophically, but can also lead to new inventions that do a great deal of good for society.
Entertainment gives us an opportunity to see what’s possible in science and dream about the wonderful innovations we could see in the future. We need films like Star Trek to excite our imaginations and get us working toward exploring other planets in advanced spaceships.
Even the mega-franchise, Star Wars, can get us excited about the possibilities of technology connecting us to alien galaxies with advanced spaceships that travel light speed and weapons that use laser beams like lightsabers.
After a tough day studying for that important exam or working too long in the lab wondering if a STEM career is worth all the effort. Pull out your favorite Sci-fi movie and get inspired by what could be.
You are a part of bringing that fantastic future of fantasy to our reality. It is your responsibility to keep your passion for STEM alive. Science and technology have been influencing movies and television for many years. Now, let it inspire you.
This piece comes to us from one of our talented content contributors, Khalid Birdsong. His bio is below and if you would like to work with us you can email us here!
Khalid Birdsong is a freelance writer, cartoonist and teaching artist. He loves enjoying a good story in books or on film and traveling the world to explore new lands and cultures with his family. You can learn more about Khalid’s writing and comics at www.kbirdsongcopy.com and www.friedchickenandsushi.com